Photos Copyright © 2002
JD Perez (1-4), Jeremy Beckman (5-8), Sean Flinn (9)
More photos coming soon.
May 16th, 2002 Thursday
Los Angeles, CA
El Rey Theatre
Review by William Edward Huber
Los Angeles, CA - One look at the El Rey and I knew this was going to be a good show. Deco-style theater, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, blood red curtain behind the stage. Hip crowd in attendance, too, all anxious to see the band. At 10:30pm, people started whistling for the show to begin and the band obliged. The theater lights dimmed, the curtain started moving and -- no one came out! The guy behind me said it looked like a scene from Spinal Tap (band trying to get onstage, can't find the opening in the curtain).
No worries, though, as the guys took the stage moments later and launched into "Cloudless." A loud cheer went up when Ali finally walked out. Her voice was clear as a bell, mesmerizing the crowd, and the band sounded fantastic. Jim's guitar started doing some weird fuzztone thing during "To Be," prompting a quizzical glance from Ali and an amused one from Paul; he looked over at Jim and the two started cracking up. One touch of a button and the problem was gone.
Many highlights to tonight's gig: the mad strobe light eruption during "To Be" and Jon's subsequent wailing away on the skins; "Fragile", which somehow manages to sound lush and ethereal at the same time (even more so live); the versatility of Paul and Ben, both of whom alternated between guitar, bass and keyboards throughout the night; the surprise inclusion of "Reverie," which got the crowd moving and was a perfect set up for the next song: "Lilies." When Ali picked up the red & white guitar, everyone went nuts -- in particular, the woman behind me who was screaming out all the lyrics.
Perhaps most exciting of all: the debut of "Submarine" live! Ali introduced it by saying it was the first time they'd played the song on this tour "so it may be a little shaky." On the contrary, it was rock solid and the audience loved it. Great crowd tonight, incidentally. Knowledgeable, vocal, obvious affection for the band. Lots of shouted requests, and one especially enthusiastic fan who kept shouting out stuff like, "You bring life to music!" and "I love your smile!" Ali did her best to pretend this wasn't borderline-creepy.
Only one drawback to the evening: post-concert mingling was almost non-existent thanks largely to the El Rey security Nazis, who started kicking people out the second the lights came up; they wouldn't let anyone get setlists and they even forbade the crew from handing them out. The band was perfectly willing to mingle with the fans, and they did come out after the gig. But by that time, the Nazis had dispelled a vast majority of the crowd.
So if Ali, Jim, Paul, Ben and Jon read this – there are scores of L.A. fans that wanted to thank you for a fantastic gig. You'll have to come back and see us soon!
p.s. - for those of you going to future shows on this tour, check out the t-shirts. They're awesome!
Review by William Edward Huber
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